In light of the recent incredibly cheap fares over the weekend, I received some questions from readers about what races people should run based on cities targeted in the deal. To help the traveling runner be prepared for when the cheap fares come again, here are some tips.
Prepare a Bucket List
More than likely you already have one, but you should build a bucket list of the races you would like to run. Use your imagination! Just write down all the incredible races you have ever thought about or heard about and put them on a list for easy access.
Know the Racing Season
It is very helpful if you know the various seasons for races. For instance, the spring and fall are very popular times of the year for marathons. Europe has a lot of races in October/November and April. Asia has a lot of races in the winter months. Learn the different seasons for the races of interest so you know what part of the country and the world has races at each point of the year.
Plan a Strategy
It is really good to have a strategy in place for when these cheap fares pop up. For travelers who are just wanting to fly to different countries on these fares, there is not a lot of planning that is necessary before booking. For the runner, planning is essential. It can greatly help your hopeful travel plans if you have a strategy in place. For example, in the recent deal, the months that it was mostly valid for travel was the end of December through March. In such a case, something like this would have been of great help:
- Identify the city pairs that are valid at the cheap prices
- Go to the Marathon Guide calendar to check the races available for that time of year
- Go back and check the dates for the marathons that you pick (of course, going in order through your bucket list and by the season)
- Book the tickets!
This sounds simple, but to have this in place and at the ready for when these tickets become available will really help! It is amazing the adrenaline that is present when these fares are in play! Many people make booking mistakes because of the excitement. Having a strategy in place will help you to reduce the mistakes.
Check the Cancellation
One of the first things that you should do when these fares become available is to check to see if the tickets have a cancellation policy in place for within 24 hours of ticketing. This will help to give you a larger buffer zone when booking for a race. An example of this is if you identify a race and a city pair that will work for you – if you have 24 hours to cancel, you can go ahead and book the ticket and then check to see if there are open slots for registration, check your vacation, check the visa situation, etc. It will save you a lot of time if you don’t have to check all of that before you book the ticket.
Line Up Friends
I cannot tell you how many times I have booked a ticket and then had a friend tell me “hey, you should have told me about that – I would have bought one too!” Ask your running friends ahead of time if anyone would be interested in traveling on a race trip sometime and don’t forget to call them when a deal comes up! It can make the trip and the race so much more enjoyable if you can share it with a friend!
What are your tips?
What steps do you take when fares like this come up?